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AHA News: Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Exercise Caution When Exercising Outdoors

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Even as government officials warn us to "stay home, stay safe" during the coronavirus pandemic, people are flocking to parks, trails and sidewalks to walk and bike away their cabin fever. That might seem like a total contradiction. But according to health experts, it can be a healthy choice – as long as you exercise caution while exercising outdoors. "Since most people don't have a treadmill, outdoor exercise makes it a heck of a lot easier to meet the physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, like walking, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity, like running," said Dr. Jeffrey Harris, professor and chair of the University of Washington's department of health services in the School of...

How Many Steps Per Day to Lengthen Your Life?

24 March 2020
TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For years, health experts have urged us to get off the couch and get moving. Now a new U.S. government study shows how much we stand to gain. The study, of more 4,800 Americans age 40 and up, found a clear pattern: The more steps people took each day, the less likely they were to die over the next 10 years. Those who managed at least 8,000 steps a day -- roughly equivalent to walking 4 miles -- were one-half to two-thirds less likely to die, compared to less-active people. The advantage was consistent among both men and women, in all racial groups studied, and across the age span, researchers report in the March 24 Journal of the American Medical Association. The fact that active people lived longer is no surprise, researchers said. But...

Squat, Don't Sit: Study of African Tribe Shows Why One...

9 March 2020
MONDAY, March 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- You've probably heard the phrase, "Sitting is the new smoking," but what is it about sitting that's so harmful? New research suggests it's because sitting doesn't require much use of your body's muscles. The study compared the daily activities of a modern-day African hunter-gatherer community called the Hadza, in Tanzania. It found that while the Hadza spent similar amounts of sedentary time throughout the day as people living in more industrialized societies, what they didn't do was sit. Instead, they squatted or kneeled. "Squatting or kneeling requires light levels of muscle activity," said study author David Raichlen, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California. That light level of muscle activity may...

Heading to Work on a Bike? You Might Live Longer

25 February 2020
TUESDAY, Feb. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Do you ride your bike to work? If you don't, maybe you should. Why? People who commute by bicycle are at lower risk of dying early, a new study from New Zealand finds. Researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, the University of Melbourne and the University of Auckland found that those who cycled to work had a 13% reduction in death during the study period. Lead researcher Dr. Caroline Shaw attributes this mortality reduction to the health benefits of physical activity that aren't typically seen from walking or taking public transportation. For the study, Shaw and her team analyzed data from 3.5 million New Zealanders. "We studied 80% of the working-age population of New Zealand over a 15-year period, so it is highly...

Variety is Key for the Fittest Americans

24 February 2020
MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Very fit American adults enjoy a wider range of physical activities than those who are less active, a new study finds. The findings could help point to ways to boost physical activity in adults, according to the researchers. Data gathered from more than 9,800 adults nationwide between 2003 and 2006 showed that those who were active had done at least two different activities in the past month, but the most active did five. "Since a greater variety of activities was associated with meeting exercise guidelines, mixing up your workouts to vary the type of exercise could be beneficial," said study lead author Susan Malone, an assistant professor of nursing at New York University, in New York City. Walking was the most common activity, with more...

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